Glitter to escape child rape charges


Charges of child rape against British glam rocker Gary Glitter have been dropped by Vietnamese authorities, although he still faces trial for the less serious crime of child molestation, his lawyer said today.

"The investigators have handed him the investigation findings and only charged him with engaging in perverse activities with children", said Glitter's Vietnamese lawyer, Le Thanh Kinh.

Police investigators found there were no grounds to charge the 61-year-old1970s rocker, whose real name is Paul Gadd, with raping children, a much more serious offence that can carry the death penalty.

"The findings also ruled out the circulation of pornographic material in his computer," Kinh said. "A trial is expected soon. It could be in late January or in early February," he said, adding that police had asked for a closed trial to protect the identity of the two girls involved.

Glitter could face up to 12 years in jail if found guilty of engaging in sex acts with children. Police have said they had looked at the medical tests on two girls, one under 13 years old, which had shown evidence of sexual intercourse, but it was not clear with whom.

Glitter has denied allegations that he molested girls as young as 12, insisting he was helping them with their English.

The age of consent in communist Vietnam is 16.

Glitter was jailed for four months in Britain in 1999 after being found guilty of storing more than 4,000 images of child pornography on his computer.